Hello everybody, welcome to episode 72 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you have about life and get them answered for you here on the show. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino and we’re going to be taking a look at the dating game today, specifically online dating. We’ve got a question about how to get it right and what strategies we can deploy to find the right partner online. I’ve got some ideas, but first, here’s the question…
QUESTION: “I guess this is a general question, but I wanted to ask about how to find the right people on dating apps. You see pictures of the people and they look good. You talk to them, they’re usually nice enough. But I’ve been looking forever and I know a lot of other people have too. Is there a strategy or anything to finding the right person that I’m missing?“
Dating Apps and Modern Dating
All righty. Nothing wrong with general questions, don’t be silly. I’d say a lot of our questions are sort of general aren’t they?
Anyway, it’s no secret that dating apps have become sort of a backbone of modern day dating so we absolutely should stay with the times and talk about how to use them properly. Thank you for sending this question in and giving us an opportunity to both do that, and help you out a little bit. Now, for this particular “general” question, I do have a “general” answer as well as a more specific answer. We’ll start with the general one first; broad strokes.
What to Include in a Dating Profile
First, for anyone on dating apps, let’s make sure we’re making the best usage of the resources we’re given. And what better way to do that than to shine light on some of the things we hate on other people’s profiles? For example, how often do you swipe right on someone who has no bio? Hopefully never.
Write a Nice Bio, and Avoid Spelling Errors!
Putting a bio in there, even if it’s as minimal as a cutesie quote from The Office, is imperative. Use that space to show your personality a little bit, and for the love of God, try to avoid spelling errors – if you want to match with me anyway.
Use Well Lit Photos
Then there are the photos. Put up some complimentary photos in which you’re shown in good lighting, you look nice, people have an idea of what you truly look like. Avoid wearing sunglasses in all of your photos, PLEASE. You’re coming off as an absolute psychopath if you wear sunglasses in all your pictures and people can never see your eyes. Needless to say, the main photo is make or break. People are overwhelmed by all the options on dating apps whether they like it or not, and whether they know it or not. That means fast swiping will happen even at the hands of worthy dating prospects, so look to make a quick splash with a good first photo and good bio.
Be Honest About Yourself
Use the bio, the pictures, and whatever prompts you may have to your full advantage. Represent yourself truthfully and lightheartedly and be honest about yourself. You don’t have to spill your deepest fears and deepest secrets, but if you’re trying to use very generic stuff about liking to go on adventures and all that, it’s hardly going to work. And it’s hardly going to work because you either aren’t taking the time to be creative about what makes you you, or you’re too worried about being vulnerable and would rather say something that you know is relatively appealing to everyone.
Show Your Personality and Originality
Stop all that. Show the same originality that you hope to find in someone else. Sure, there’s always much more to learn about people once you actually get to know them, but no one’s doing anyone any favors or speeding up the process of finding someone compatible by putting really boring, trite stuff up there.
These are the basics of maximizing your dating profile and the way you look for people and though the may seem simple, fixing even one of them that’s currently off can make a massive difference. Everything I said there is best for you to do for yourself, and best to look for in others when you get to swiping. At the very least, this shows effort and willingness to express oneself, which are huge qualities in any type of relationship anyway.
Four Reasons for Failed Dating App Experiences
But for you and the others who have been on dating apps for a while with no luck, let’s not forget that we all have our own journeys on dating apps and blanket advice will only help so much.
For that reason, the best thing you can do to give yourself the best chance at finding someone worthwhile on there is to learn from mistakes past. That means to identify the patterns in the people who you’ve met with on apps and it didn’t end up working out. Since I don’t know your patterns, I can only help so much. BUT what I will do instead is talk about four common patterns, what they might mean, and give you the opportunity to see if any of it applies to you.
1. Taking Things Too Slowly
One common pattern in failed dating app ventures is taking things too slow. I’m not necessarily talking about intimacy – honestly that’s probably the least of what I mean right here. It can be pretty detrimental if a couple that meets online waits too long to meet in person. Sure, we want to screen people, maintain other conversations and not feel bad about it, and sometimes we just get nervous. None of this is terribly useful after a certain point, however. At the beginning stages of dating, you don’t owe anyone anything. Don’t be afraid to meet quickly and do most of the learning in person. There’s a lot to be said about how you interact rather than how many interests you share. Learn these things in person and develop a dynamic that way. You can only learn so much through text.
2. Moving Too Fast
The inverse of the first pattern is taking things too fast. Unlike the first pattern, this time, I AM talking mostly about intimacy. Jumping in to bed really fast doesn’t give either of you a chance to get to know one another. That’s fine if it’s made very clear that you’re both looking solely for a physical relationship, but either way, having sex early on makes a statement. Usually, it either says “this will only be physical” or “we’re so madly in love we can’t contain ourselves.” Most people want something in between which should be communicated, and thus, sex should probably wait at least a little while for those seeking standard relationships.
3. Being TOO Picky
The third pattern I see is people regularly finding something wrong with their dating prospects. I get that you want there to be a spark. Generally speaking, that’s fine. Just be careful of not being too picky. If you’re always finding that something is off with the people you’re meeting- ESPECIALLY if you find yourself being more judgmental than friendly in these feelings – then here’s what may be happening: you’re not ready to date even if you think you are, you’re being too much of a perfectionist and unwilling to compromise (which will surely lead you to your dating doom) or you’re judging too fast because you’re afraid of getting your heart broken or having your time wasted. If this has only happened a few times for you, don’t worry about it. If it’s a long-time recurring theme, then check yourself.
4. Being Left One Too Many Times
The final pattern and the inverse of the third pattern is that the people you date are regularly leaving you behind rather than vice versa. This is when you get all Inception-y and look for a pattern within a pattern. What kind of behavior have you been displaying to these people? What things have you been saying over and over again? Look into these interactions to either find what you might be doing that is offensive without you realizing it, or how you may have inaccurately portrayed yourself and your values online and/or in person.
Dating is not always a walk in the park. And meeting the right person has no business being an easy thing to do.
That being said, it’s easy to get lost in the waiting game and continue to tell yourself it’s a matter of time. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Just stay mindful of what you could be doing to be having more genuine interactions.
And there we have it, everybody.
Are there more patterns? Definitely. Many will fall under those umbrellas patterns, though. Thank you so much for sending this question in, asker. This is one we could really talk about for hours, but I think this episode offered a good summary.
If you guys do have your own questions about online dating that weren’t answered today though, send them on in. Or send any other questions you may have that you think we can help with. Email us at advice AT oldpodcast DOT com
We’ll do what we can to help and support you. Thanks so much for tuning in everyone. I had a ball today, and hope you did as well. Bye for now.